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TBR News September 10, 2018

Sep 10 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. September 10, 2018:” Trump supporters are dismissing the New Yhork Times article from a Trump insider and the Woodward book as fake news. The fact that their beloved leader lies like a dining room rug seems to have escaped their notice.Opponents of Trump were initially termed ‘deep state conspiracy’ or ‘Clinton liberals’ but with the growing objections to Trump’s erratic and destructive behavior, the field has grown considerably.

And hovering in Trump’s background is the disruptive Bolton who is obviously yearning for a war in which the United States incinerates the rest of the world while he sips tea in an underground bunker.

Like cleaves unto like so some of Trump’s most devoted followers put on in mind of the attendees at one of Adolf Hitler’s political rallies. As the bulk of the American public is not of such a mind seems to have entirely avoid contact with their perceptions.

And Trump’s meglamaniacal desire for an enormous military parade with himself standing alone, again like Hitler, on a reviewing platform while an enormous crowd cheers themselves mad with joy.

The White House has been transformed into the Mad House and one day, the public will be treated to men in white coats going into it by a side door. And exiting with a squirming and shouting bundle of strapped bed sheets.”

 The Table of Contents

  • Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 19
  • Fear review: Bob Woodward’s dragnet descends on Donald Trump
  • Yes, let’s wipe out Trump. But take neoliberal Democrats with him, too
  • Republican Florida governor candidate DeSantis resigns from Congress
  • Sweden faces weeks in political limbo after far right makes gains
  • Bringing democracy and freedome to the world: The CIA!
  • Homes Demolished in Israel and Palestine.
  • THE STRUCTURE OF ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE:
  • Sweden faces political impasse after inconclusive election
  • US threatens to arrest ICC judges over war crimes probe
  • Politically incorrect bumperstickers

 

Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 19 August 8, 2018

by Daniel Dale, Washington Bureau Chief

The Toronto Star, Canada

The Star is keeping track of every false claim U.S. President Donald Trump has made since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. Why? Historians say there has never been such a constant liar in the Oval Office. We think dishonesty should be challenged. We think inaccurate information should be corrected

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not teling the truth.

Last updated: Aug 8, 2018

 

 

  • Jun 29, 2017

“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: There is no evidence Morning Joe co-anchor Mika Brzezinski was “bleeding badly” — a picture of her from New Year’s Eve shows her looking as normal — or even that she had a face-lift; she and co-host Joe Scarborough said in the Washington Post that she did not. They also said it is false that they spent three nights at Mar-a-Lago and that Trump refused to see them. Also, Morning Joe is not poorly rated. As the website Adweek reported just days prior to Trump’s attack: the show has beaten its CNN rival for nine quarters in a row, and “its 997,000 total viewer average represents a quarterly audience record for MSNBC in the 6-9 a.m. time period.” Its average of 1.1 million viewers in May was nearly double its performance in May 2016.

 

“The second is the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which blocks federal grants to cities that release dangerous criminal aliens back into the streets, including the vicious and disgusting and horrible MS-13 gang members. And we’re getting them out. We are getting them out. They’re going — fast. General Kelly and his whole group — they’ve gotten rid of 6,000 so far. We’re about 50 per cent there, and we’re actually liberating towns.”

Source: Speech on American energy

in fact: The Trump administration has not deported about 50 per cent of MS-13 gang members, nor has it deported 6,000 so far. As PolitiFact notes, the U.S. government said in April that there were about 10,000 MS-13 members in the country; as of late June, just 2,800 members of any gang had been deported in the 2017 fiscal year, which began all the way back in October. So Trump is exaggerating even if every single gang member deported was a member of MS-13, which they were not.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

 

“And I won’t get into it, but believe me, that (Paris climate accord) really put this country at a disadvantage. Number one, we weren’t playing on the same field. It kicked in for us, and it doesn’t kick in for others.”

Source: Speech on American energy

in fact: The Paris climate agreement does not take effect any faster for the United States than it does for any other country.

 

“And, by the way, I thought I’d take a lot of heat (after issuing executive orders on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines). I didn’t take any heat. I approved them and that was it. I figured we’d have all sorts of protests. We didn’t have anything.”

Source: Speech on American energy

in fact: There were protests in cities around the country after Trump issued the executive orders he was discussing here — including one right outside the White House. Perhaps he expected more “heat” than he received, but is false to say there was not “anything.”

 

“As you all know, I approved the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline in my first week.”

Source: Speech on American energy

in fact: Trump did not approve either pipeline in his first week. His first-week executive orders advanced the two pipelines, but they did not grant final approval. Trump actually approved Keystone XL two months into his presidency; the government announced the approval of the Dakota Access pipeline three weeks into his presidency.

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

 

“Fake news, CNN. Fake. Whoops, their camera just went off. OK, you can come back. I won’t say — I promise I won’t say anything more about you. I see that red light go off, I say ‘whoa.”

Source: Speech on American energy

in fact: CNN did not turn off its camera when Trump insulted the network. Trump told precisely the same lie the week prior, and at least twice during the 2016 campaign.

Trump has repeated this claim 4 times

 

 

  • Jun 30, 2017

“Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: Joe Scarborough, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, disputes Trump’s account of what happened in the exchange with the Trump administration to the National Enquirer article. (Scarborough wrote on Twitter: “Yet another lie. I have texts from your top aides and phone records. Also, those records show I haven’t spoken with you in many months.” He and co-host Mika Brzezinski wrote in the Washington Post that they ignored a warning from “top” Trump aides that the Enquirer would publish a damaging article unless they “begged the president to have the story spiked.”) Regardless, the show is not low-rated. As the website Adweek reported just days prior to Trump’s attack: the show has beaten its CNN rival for nine quarters in a row, and “its 997,000 total viewer average represents a quarterly audience record for MSNBC in the 6-9 a.m. time period.” Its average of 1.1 million viewers in May was nearly double its performance in May 2016.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

 

“We’re also joined by our great Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, who spent the morning negotiating trade deals with South Korea. And as you know, that trade deal is coming due, and it actually came due a couple of weeks ago. And I think we’re going to make a good deal, right?”

Source: Speech at signing of executive order on National Space Council

in fact: The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) did not “come due”; it has not expired in any way. “There is nothing in KORUS that expired,” said Derek Scissors, an expert on Asia trade at the American Enterprise Institute, “but both sides have the option of giving notice to withdraw. The US has not done so, publicly.” He added: “The president may be referring to an internal decision, made a couple of weeks ago, that the U.S. would give notice to withdraw if negotiations weren’t productive during the visit.”

Trump has repeated this claim 3 times

 

“And number two is going to be, of course, trade — because the trade deal is up, and we want to make a deal that’s fair for the United States and fair for South Korea.”

Source: Meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in

in fact: The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) did is not “up”; it has not expired in any way. “There is nothing in KORUS that expired,” said Derek Scissors, an expert on Asia trade at the American Enterprise Institute, “but both sides have the option of giving notice to withdraw. The US has not done so, publicly.” He added: “The president may be referring to an internal decision, made a couple of weeks ago, that the U.S. would give notice to withdraw if negotiations weren’t productive during the visit.”

Trump has repeated this claim 3 times

 

“For many, many years, the United States has suffered through massive trade deficits. That’s why we have $20 trillion in debt.”

Source: Meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in

in fact: Trade deficits (the difference between what the U.S. imports and exports) and the national debt (roughly: the sum of the federal government’s annual budget deficits, plus some other “off-budget” factors) are entirely different matters. The national debt is a result of government decisions about taxation and spending, while the trade deficit is a result of people’s decisions to buy and sell goods and services.

 

“We are renegotiating a trade deal right now as we speak with South Korea, and hopefully it will be an equitable deal — it will be a fair deal to both parties. It’s been a rough deal for the United States, but I think that it will be much different and it will be good for both parties. So we’re in the process of doing that.”

Source: Meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in

in fact: The U.S. and South Korea were not renegotiating their trade deal at the time. While Trump said he wanted to, no process was underway; the two sides had not even agreed about the purpose of the consultation group they agreed to set up. “The position of South Korea’s trade officials is to postpone the question of whether to renegotiate the agreement,” Korea’s Hankyoreh newspaper reported. “It sounds like the president got ahead of himself,” Wendy Cutler, who was the lead U.S. negotiator on the agreement, told the Los Angeles Times.

 

  • Jul 1, 2017

“Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: MSNBC’s Morning Joe is not low-rated. As the website Adweek reported just days prior to Trump’s attack: the show has beaten its CNN rival for nine quarters in a row, and “its 997,000 total viewer average represents a quarterly audience record for MSNBC in the 6-9 a.m. time period.” Its average of 1.1 million viewers in May was nearly double its viewership in May 2016.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

 

  • Jul 4, 2017

“Gas prices are the lowest in the U.S. in over ten years!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: Gas prices have been lower on numerous occasions in the last 10 years — 85 weeks, PolitiFact reported, or 58 weeks if you’re adjusting prices for inflation. Trump would have been correct if he specified that gas prices had not been lower on any July 4 weekend in the last 10 years. But his actual claim was broader.

 

Fear review: Bob Woodward’s dragnet descends on Donald Trump

The Watergate reporter has written another sober, must-read dissection of corruption and rot at the White House

September 8, 2018

by Lloyd Green

The Guardian

Donald Trump has demanded that the New York Times reveal the identity of an anonymous op-ed writer so he might be charged with treason. To cloak himself from criticism, Trump also seeks to weaken America’s libel laws.

Yet even as Trump wages war on free speech and the first amendment, he appears to have forgotten that the only reason he holds office is the constitution itself. Trump demonstrably lost the popular vote; his legitimacy emanates solely from the provisions of the document he appears to hold in the same regard as the truth.

Fear, the latest chronicle of a president from Bob Woodward, who with Carl Bernstein did so much to bring down Richard Nixon, only reinforces this dismal picture. From beginning to end, Woodward treats us to a portrait of an occupant of the Oval Office who sucks the life out of his subordinates.

Trump is continually reminded of the legal constraints that encumber the presidency, that dyspeptic diktats are not substitutes for legislation or even executive orders, and that the White House counsel and attorney general ultimately owe duties to their country and offices, not reflexively to the guy who hired them.

And he hates all of it.

Fear depicts a White House awash in dysfunction, where the Lord of the Flies is the closest thing to an owner’s manual. Woodward is not describing the usual flavors of palace intrigue that come with the turf.

Even during the campaign, Trumpworld was its own special brand of cray-cray, one that channeled the tempestuousness of its prime mover. Imagine a campaign manager like the newly convicted Paul Manafort who never bothered to tell his boss that he, Manafort, was under investigation for pocketing more than $12m in foreign cash until the New York Times was about to go to print. Or a presidential candidate, Trump, who virtually scrapped his pre-election transition efforts so as not to be jinxed, post-election chaos be damned.

Like Joe Friday on Dragnet, Jack Webb’s television classic, Woodward’s Fear is big on facts and short on hyperventilation. It is not Fire and Fury redux or Omarosa 2.0. Rather, it is a sober account of how we reached this vertiginous point. Woodward’s words are quotidian but the story he tells is chilling. Like Trump himself, the characters that populate Woodward’s narrative are Runyonesque and foul-mouthed.

Lifting papers from your boss’s desk because you disapprove of his policy choices is not standard operating procedure. Trashing everyone in your circle is not an effective means of engendering loyalty. Reflexively dissembling to your personal lawyer when Robert Mueller holds your fate in his hands is akin to a death wish.

As Woodward frames things, “Trump had one overriding problem” that his personal lawyer, John Dowd, an ex-marine, “knew but could not bring himself to say to the president: ‘You’re a fucking liar.’”

Others surrounding Trump express less salty reservations about his capabilities. In the aftermath of the Access Hollywood tape debacle, Steve Bannon tried to focus the then candidate on a state-by-state strategy. Trump was having none of it. Bannon realized: “I’m the director, he’s the actor.”

Through the words of others, Fear also examines Trump’s finances. Woodward describes back-and-forth between Jared Kushner and Bannon concerning an injection of funds by the candidate into the campaign’s thinly stretched coffers. Looking at a dead heat with Clinton, Bannon suggested to Kushner that Trump cut a $50m check on his dime. Kushner demurred.

Like Abraham haggling with God over the fate of Sodom, Bannon dropped the ask to $25m, Jared explained that his father-in-law “doesn’t have a lot of cash” and Trump announced: “Fuck that. I’m not doing it.” In the end, Trump ladled out $10m. Regardless, it’s no shock the NFL never welcomed Trump to its ranks of really wealthy owners.

Gary Cohn, the senior economic adviser who ended up removing policy papers from Trump’s desk, was keenly aware the Trump Organization was less than creditworthy by industry standards. In his days at Goldman Sachs, Cohn warned a young trader who did a bond deal with a Trump casino that if the trade did not settle the trader would be out the door. Fortunately, the casino kept its end of the bargain.

Forget Trump University. It was with Deutsche Bank that Trump’s version of reality most strongly collided with cold hard facts. According to Trump, the bank “loved” him. The public records say something else.

A decade ago, the bank and Trump sued each other over Trump’s refusal to pay a $40m loan guaranty in connection with the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. In a letter to the bank, Trump wrote: “Deutsche Bank is one of the banks primarily responsible for the economic dysfunction we are currently facing.”

While the bank and Trump eventually settled and did business, affection had little to do with it. As a former managing director put it to the Financial Times: “Sometimes a business will look at a client who can’t do business elsewhere … It makes the overall picture economic.” Parenthetically, the bank also lent to Kushner and his family business. Kushner Companies owes more than $500,000 in fines to New York City and is facing a tenant class action in Maryland. Being a slumlord can be such a drag.

Having promised that his administration would be staffed by “the best people”, Trump has made the White House a school for scandal. Fear recounts the downfall of Rob Porter, Trump’s wife-beating staff secretary, and Mike Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation.

Despite the din, the economy chugs ahead. But America’s institutions shudder as the US continues its more than decade-old semi-civil civil war. Fear does not address what comes next. But when the phrase “the sleeper cells have awoken” migrates to everyday discussion, there is reason for concern if not alarm. Institutions can withstand only so much punishment.

 

Yes, let’s wipe out Trump. But take neoliberal Democrats with him, too

A new wave of left-leaning Democrats are waging a war on the party’s corporate wing

 

September 10, 2018

by David Sirota

The Guardian

After a scorching summer of discontent, Donald Trump’s endless tweets and scandals have given Democrats their best chance to retake Congress since George W Bush’s second term. And yet, insurgent progressives are not limiting themselves to dethroning Republicans: they are taking aim at corporate-friendly Democrats within their own party, too.

Amid an upsurge of populist energy that has alarmed the Democratic establishment, a new wave of left-leaning insurgents have been using Democratic primaries to wage a fierce war on the party’s corporate wing. And, as in past presidential primary battles, many Democratic consultants, politicians and pundits have insisted that the party must prioritize unity and resist grassroots pressure to support a more forceful progressive agenda.

Not surprisingly, much of that analysis comes from those with career stakes in the status quo. Their crude attempts to stamp out any dissent or intraparty discord negates a stark truth: liberal America’s pattern of electing corporate Democrats – rather than progressives – has been a big part of the problem that led to Trump and that continues to make America’s economic and political system a neo-feudal dystopia.

Dislodging those corporate Democrats, then, is not some counterproductive distraction – it is a critical front in the effort to actually make America great again.

Right now, there are eight blue states where Democrats control the governorship and the legislature, and five other blue states where Democrats have often had as much or more legislative power than Republicans. These states, plus myriad cities under Democratic rule, collectively oversee one of the planet’s largest economies. Laws enacted in these locales can set national and global standards, and in the process, concretely illustrate a popular progressive agenda. Such an agenda in liberal America could rebrand the Democratic party as an entity that is actually serious about challenging the greed of the 1%, fighting corruption, and making day-to-day life better for the 99%.

Instead, though, liberal America has often produced something much different and less appealing: Democratic politicians who constantly echo courageous populist themes in speeches, news releases and election ads, and then often uses the party’s governmental power to protect the status quo and serve corporate donors in their interminable class war.

Take California: a state where Democrats control the governorship, every state constitutional office and alegislative supermajority. With healthcare premiums rising, polls show 70% of Americans support the creation of a government-sponsored healthcare system. Considering that Canada’s healthcare system first began in its provinces, California would seem a perfect place to create the first such system in the United States. There is just one problem: Democrats are using their power to shut down single-payer legislation as they rake in big money from private insurance and drug companies.

On the opposite coast, it is the same story. A solidly Democratic New York, Connecticut and New Jersey have declined to take up single payer, and have also refused to pass legislation closing special “carried interest” tax loopholes that benefit a handful of Wall Street moguls. As those tax breaks drain public revenue, state officials simultaneously plead poverty in justifying cuts to basic social safety net programs – even as they offer massive taxpayer subsidies to corporations such as Amazon and play host to an endless series of pay-to-play corruption scandals that see wealthy campaign contributors enriched at the public trough.

Even in deep blue Rhode Island – where Democrats are so dominant the 113 member legislature has only 17 Republicans – then-treasurer Gina Raimondo and her fellow Democrats chose to stake their brand on a plan that eviscerated retirement benefits for teachers, firefighters, cops and other public sector workers. Raimondo, a former financial executive whose firm received state investments, also shifted billions of dollars of public workers’ retirement savings into politically connected hedge funds and private equity firms that charge outsized fees, but often generate returns that lag a cheap stock index fund.

Every now and again, this grotesquerie spills out into public view in ways that cannot be ignored. In New Jersey, for instance, state Democratic lawmakers who spent years slamming Republican governor Chris Christie for refusing to pass a millionaires tax quickly delayed and then watered down the same tax proposal when Democrats reclaimed the governorship. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Hudson river, New York Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo shut down an anti-corruption commission, his top aide was later convicted on corruption charges – and yet Cuomo was rewarded with support from top Democrats as well as an endorsement from New York Times higher-ups right on liberal America’s editorial page.

Now sure, if this behavior was just limited to either side of the country, it could be written off as the effete fiddling-while-Rome-burns antics of the coastal elite. Things, though, aren’t much different in the middle of the country.

Here in Colorado, where Democrats have been winning elections, the party machine joined with Republicans in 2016 to help the insurance industry crush a universal healthcare ballot measure. At the same time, the administration of Democratic governor John Hickenlooper – a 2020 presidential hopeful – has threatened to sue local communities that try to regulate fossil fuel development.

And now in 2018 – as climate-change-intensified wildfires torch the state – top Democrats are breaking with the party’s grassroots activists and uniting with Republicans to allow oil and gas companies to frack and drill near schools, hospitals and residential neighborhoods. Democratic leaders have taken up that cause even after a series of deadly explosions near oil and gas sites outside Denver, and even as ever-more academic research spotlights potential health hazards of living too close to fracking sites.

Then there is Chicago, the most reliably Democratic stronghold of the heartland’s cities with a mayoralty that enjoys more inherent institutional power than almost any other.

There, the administration of Democratic stalwart Rahm Emanuel has used that power to initiate one of American history’s largest mass closures of public schools and layoff hundreds of teachers. During Emanuel’s tenure, public workers’ retirement savings were invested with financial firms whose executives have bankrolled Emanuel’s political apparatus. Emanuel’s administration also reportedly oversaw a police dark site where suspects were allegedly imprisoned without charge – and the Democratic mayor’s appointees infamously blocked the release of a videotape of Chicago police gunning down an unarmed African American teenager.

With the city subsequently suffering an explosion of gun violence, racial strife and economic inequality, Democratic donors responded by lavishing Emanuel with massive campaign contributions and Democratic voters reelected him. When Hizzoner later announced his retirement amid the trial over the police shooting, Emanuel was immediately lauded as a great hero by the most famous face of the Democratic party, Barack Obama

The former president’s move was a powerful reminder that Democrats’ let-them-eat-cake attitude and nothing-to-see-here complacency is a toxic gangrene afflicting not just the distant tips of the party’s local tendrils. The fish rots from the head down, and Democrats’ festering noggin is at the top of the national party, where Democratic states’ federal lawmakers have been helping Republicans ransack everything not nailed down to the floor.

Less than a decade ago, with Democratic majorities controlling both the House and Senate, it was the administration led by Obama and Emanuel that bailed out Wall Street, enshrined a too-big-to-jail doctrine for megabanks and – by its own admission – designed the Affordable Care Act to preclude Medicare for All. Obama’s administration did this while Democrats controlled both the House and Senate. It was Democratic lawmakers’ like Delaware’s Tom Carper and Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman who helped insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists make sure the ACA also excluded any public healthcare option that could compete with private insurers.

Today, it is House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, from deeply liberal San Francisco, insisting that Medicare for All will not be any kind of litmus test for her party and promising that budget-cutting austerity will govern Democrats’ legislative agenda should they retake Congress.

It is 16 Senate Democrats voting to help Wall Street lobbyists gut post-financial-crisis banking regulations. Those include blue-staters like Colorado’s Michael Bennet and Delaware’s Chris Coons, the latter of which then went on to make national headlines slamming progressives for supposedly pushing the party too far to the left.

It is 13 Senate Democrats, including 2020 presidential prospect Cory Booker of Democratic New Jersey, beholding skyrocketing drug prices – and then voting to help pharmaceutical lobbyists defeat Bernie Sanders’ initiative to let Americans purchase lower-priced medicine from Canada.

It is most of the Democratic Senate caucus recently voting to confirm 15 of Trump’s judicial appointees, and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, from Democratic New York, vowing there will be no punishment for Democratic lawmakers who vote to confirm Trump’s supreme court nominees.

Recounting this sordid record is not to dispute Democrats’ occasional successes. Some blue locales continue to periodically pass progressive initiatives, most recently on climate change, net neutrality and minimum wages. These are undoubtedly important, but they have for the most part been incremental at a time when the economic and ecological crises we face demand far more radical action.

The current iteration of the Democratic party has proven time and again that it is not merely uninterested in that kind of radicalism, but actively opposed to it. Party powerbrokers and multimillion-dollar MSNBC pundits would prefer an election focused exclusively on the palace dramas surrounding Trump’s boorish outbursts and outrageous personal behavior. They don’t want an election focused on the bipartisan neoliberalism that has wrought the desperation and mayhem unfolding outside the palace walls.

Out here, though, economic reality has proven the scripted red-versus-blue theater to be a bread-and-circuses distraction from the fact that both parties are culpable for this moment of crisis. America is now in backlash mode, producing candidates in Democratic states who are boldly challenging the party’s decrepit establishment.

In New York, it is progressive Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Zephyr Teachout, Jumaane Williams and Cynthia Nixon who, working with grassroots groups such as the Working Families party (WFP), are challenging a Tammany Hall-esque monstrosity. They do this all while progressive legislative candidates boldly primary the State Senate Democrats who have made common cause with Republicans.

In Delaware, it was African American veteran Kerri Harris running a spirited primary against Carper, also with the help of the WFP.

In Rhode Island, it is former secretary of state Matt Brown and Bernie Sanders-organizer Aaron Regunberg primarying Raimondo and her lieutenant governor.

In California and Maryland, it was lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom and former NAACP president Ben Jealous winning their respective Democratic gubernatorial primaries on promises to finally enact single payer. They are part of a larger group of pro-single-payer candidates that has now built up so much pressure for Medicare for All that none other than Obama suddenly reversed himself and lauded the concept late last week.

These progressive challengers and others like them have each run unique campaigns, but all have embodied the core belief that anti-Trump rhetoric alone is not an adequate response to the emergencies at hand. Democrats’ record in liberal states and liberal cities over the last decade makes a strong case that they are correct – and so now the revolution is on.

That may bewilder the Democrats’ permanent political class that has gotten used to steamrolling the public, losing elections and still remaining in charge of the party – but, really, the only confusing thing about this uprising is that it took this long to finally ignite.

 

Republican Florida governor candidate DeSantis resigns from Congress

September 10, 2018

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis, a Republican in a close race for governor of Florida, on Monday notified House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan that he was resigning immediately from Congress

In a letter to Ryan, DeSantis noted that the gubernatorial campaign would keep him out of Washington for most of the remaining House sessions before the November election. As a result, it would be “inappropriate for me to accept a (congressional) salary,” DeSantis wrote. DeSantis’ term in the House would have expired in January whether he won the gubernatorial race or not.

His Democratic opponent for governor is Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is black. Late last month, there were reports that DeSantis made a racially-tinged remark in referring to Gillum. DeSantis has denied the remark was racially motivated.

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that DeSantis in the past has been a speaker at events organized by a conservative columnist who has said that African-Americans owe their freedom to white people and that the “only serious race war” in the United States targets whites.

Stephen Lawson, a DeSantis campaign spokesman, said the decision to resign from Congress was not related to those reports.

The Nov. 6 election between DeSantis, who has been endorsed by President Donald Trump, and Gillum is seen as too close to call. The winner will replace Republican Governor Rick Scott, who also is in a tight U.S. Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson.

Reporting by Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao

 

Sweden faces weeks in political limbo after far right makes gains

Sweden faces weeks of a stalemate after its traditional center-left and center-right blocs tied with neither holding a majority. The far-right made gains on a hardline anti-immigration platform.

September 10, 2018

DW

Sweden’s center-left and center-right blocs emerged neck-and-neck after Sunday’s election. The far-right Sweden Democrats made significant gains to hold third place.Neck-and-neck

An initial allocation of parliamentary seats gave the center-left 144 seats compared with 143 for the center-right Alliance bloc.

The far-right Sweden Democrats gained 13 seats to hold third place with 62 seats.

175 seats are required to form a majority in the 349-seat Riksdag.

The parliamentary election was one of Sweden’s most important because the the far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats — who rose from the white supremacist and neo-Nazi fringe — were expected to gain significant strength and change the landscape of Swedish politics.

Cold shoulder for the far right

“Voters made the Social Democrats Sweden’s biggest party,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said. “We need a cross-bloc cooperation.” He said he would stay in his post for the next fortnight until the new parliament opens.

Parliamentary group leader Anders Ygeman said “it could take weeks, maybe even months,” before Sweden has a government in place.

“The Alliance will not govern or discuss how to form a government with the Sweden Democrats,” said Ulf Kristersson, head of the Moderates. “In some sense we’re happy the Sweden Democrats didn’t grow more than they did,” said the Liberal Party lawmaker Allan Widman.

Meanwhile far-right leaders in Austria, Italy and France hailed the Sweden Democrats’ results. “Sweden, birthplace of multiculturalism and model for the left, has finally decided to change after years of wild, uncontrolled immigration,” Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said on Twitter.

Breaking with traditions

The opposition Alliance bloc — comprised of the Moderates, Centre, Liberals and Christian Democrats — scored 40.3 percent of the Sunday’s vote. It would achieve a majority if it were to team up with the Sweden Democrats, however the Centre and Liberals would likely not agree to join with the far-right. Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson invited the other two parties to formal negotiations, but was rejected.

The left-wing governing bloc — made up of the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Left Party — emerged with 40.6 percent of the vote. The bloc’s leader, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, also refused to cooperate with the far right.

What happens next?

Analysts said that it will be difficult to form a stable government without some kind of support from the Sweden Democrats unless the blocs break away from their traditional alliances. Parliament opens on September 25. If the prime minister is ousted after a mandatory vote on whether to replace him, the speaker is permitted to give a maximum of four PM candidates the opportunity to form a government. If they all fail, fresh elections will be called.

 

Bringing democracy and freedome to the world: The CIA!

September 10, 2018

by Christian Jürs

In 1951, when Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh nationalized the oil industry in that Mideast nation, he was deposed by a coup instigated by the CIA and the Shah came to power, assuming complete control in 1963.Thousands of Iranians, perhaps millions died during the repressive rule of the Shah and his SAVAK secret police. The Shah was finally forced out in 1979 by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who became the US’s latest foreign enemy despite the fact that he had been on the CIA payroll while living in Paris. The Shah was granted asylum in the United States.

In Guatemala in 1954, again the CIA toppled the popularly elected government of Jacobo Arbenz, which had nationalized United Fruit property.

Prominent American government officials such as former CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith, then CIA Director Allen Dulles, Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs John Moors Cabot and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles were all closely connected to United Fruit.

An estimated 120,000 Guatemalan peasants died in the resulting military dictatorships.

Fidel Castro, with covert aid from the CIA, overthrew the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and instituted sweeping land, industrial and educational reforms as well as nationalizing American businesses. Swifty labeled a communist, the CIA then organized anti-Castro Cubans resulting in numerous attacks on Cuba and the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961. The island nation has been the object of US economic sanctions since that time.

More than 3,000 persons died in the wake of an invasion of the Dominican Republic by US Marines in 1965. The troops ostensibly were sent to prevent a communist takeover, although later it was admitted that there had been no proof of such a takeover.

Also in 1965, the US began the bombing of North Vietnam after President Johnson proclaimed the civil war there an “aggression” by the north. Two years later, American troop strength in Vietnam had grown to 380,000. US dead by the end of that Asian war totaled some 58,000 with casualties to the Vietnamese, both north and south, running more into the millions.

In 1973, the elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile was overthrown by a military coup aided by the CIA. Allende was killed and some 30,000 persons died in subsequent violence and repression, including some Americans.

In 1968, the General Suharto overthrew General Sukarno, the dictator of Indonesia, again with aid from the CIA. Suharto proved even more dictatorial and corrupt than his predecessor. A reported 800,000 people died during his regime.

Another 250,000 persons died in 1975 during the brutal invasion of East Timor by the Suharto regime aided by the US Government and Henry Kissinger.

In 1979, the powerful Somoza family, which had ruled Nicaragua since 1937, was finally overthrown and Daniel Ortega was elected president. CIA-backed Contra insurgents operating from Honduras fought a protracted war to oust the Ortega government in which an estimated 30,000 people died.

The ensuing struggle came to include such shady dealing in arms and drugs that it created a scandal in the United States called Iran-Contra, which involved selling arms to Iran and using the profits to support the Contras.

US Marines landed in Lebanon in 1982 in an attempt to preventing further bloodshed between occupying Israeli troops and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Thousands died in the resulting civil war, including several hundred Palestinians massacred in refugee camps by Christian forces working with elements of the Israeli armed forced under Sharon.

Despite the battleship shelling of Beirut, American forces were withdrawn in 1984 after a series of bloody attacks on them.

In 1983, US troops invaded the tiny Caribbean island nation of Grenada after a leftist government was installed. The official explanation was to rescue a handful of American students who initially said they didn’t need rescuing.

For nearly 20 years, during the 1970s and 1980s, the US Government gave aid and arms to the right wing government of the Republic of El Salvador for use against it leftist enemies.

By 1988, some 70,000 Salvadorans had died.

More than one million persons died in the 15-year battle in Angola between the Marxist government aided by Cuban troops and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, supported by South Africa and the US Government.

When Muammur al-Qaddafi tried to socialize the oil-rich North African nation of Libya beginning with his takeover in 1969, he drew the wrath of the US Government. In 1981, it was claimed that Qaddafi had sent hit teams to the United States to assassinate President Reagan and in 1986, following the withdrawal of U.S. oil companies from Libya, an air attack was launched which missed Qaddafi but killed several people including his infant daughter.

In 1987, an Iraqi missile attack on the US frigate Stark resulted in 37 deaths.

Shortly afterward, the Iraqi president apologized for the incident.

In 1988, a US Navy ship shot down an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf resulting in 290 deaths. The Reagan Administration simply called it a mistake.

Thousands of freedom-seeking Chinese were killed in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 after hardliners conferred with former President Richard Nixon on how to deal with the dissidents.

About 8,000 Panamanians died over Christmas, 1989, when President George H.W. Bush sent US troops to invade that Central American nation to arrest his former business partner, Manuel Noriega. The excuse was that Noriega was involved in the importation of drugs to the United States. U.S .News & World Report noted that in 1990, the amount of drugs moving through Panama had doubled.

Iraqi casualties, both military and civilian, totaled more than 300,000 during the short Persian Gulf War of 1991.

It has been estimated that more than one million Iraqis, including women and children, have died as a result of the continued missile and air attacks over the past decade as well as economic sanctions against that nation.

Also in 1991, the United States suspended assistance to Haiti after the election of a liberal priest sparked military action. Eventually, US troops were deployed.

The names of nations that have felt the brunt of US CIA and/or military activity as a result of foreign policy include Somalia, Afghanistan, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Brazil, Chad, Sudan and many others.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated during the Vietnam War, “My government is the world’s leading purveyor of violence.” He did not say “my country” or “my people,” it is the government, or rather those who control it, that are responsible. Although we the distracted and unaware citizens who claim to live in a democracy must take our fair share of the blame.

 

Homes Demolished in Israel and Palestine.

0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians, and over 48,488 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967.

“Any humanitarian looking at the sheer number of innocent civilians who have lost their homes can only condemn Israel’s house demolition policy as a hugely disproportionate military response by an occupation army… It is a policy that creates only hardship and bitterness, and in the end can only undermine hope for future reconciliation and peace.”

– Peter Hansen, Commissioner General of UNRWA

Statistics Source: The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions estimates that over 48,488 structures have been demolished in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza since 1967. According to ICAHD:

“Since 1967, over 48,000 Palestinian homes and other structures (livestock pens and fencing for example) crucial for a family’s livelihood, have been demolished in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including East Jerusalem. It is impossible to know how many homes exactly because the Israeli authorities only report on the demolition of “structures,” which may be homes or may be other structures. When a seven-story apartment building is demolished containing more than 20 housing units, that is considered only one demolition. Some homes are as yet incomplete when they are demolished, but the financial loss to families (70% of the Palestinians live below the poverty line, on less than $2 a day), plus the inability to obtain decent and adequate housing, constitutes a fundamental violation of tens of thousands of people to shelter.” (Read more)

In addition to the homes demolished by Israel, thousands of Palestinian homes have been destroyed or significantly damaged by Israeli bombing and shelling. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that during Israel’s Operation ‘Cast Lead’ assault on Gaza from Decemeber 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009,

“3,540 homes were destroyed in the course of the hostilities, 2,870 homes were severely damaged and 52,900 homes sustained minor damage. Some 2,618 homes destroyed or damaged beyond repair during ‘Cast Lead’ await rebuilding, primarily due to the blockade and restrictions on the entry of construction materials through the Kerem Shalom crossing.”

While Palestinians have not demolished any Israeli homes, there is one known case of a Palestinian destroying an Israeli home in an explosion.

Israeli occupation authorities have demolished some 5,000 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem since 1967, according to a new report by the Land Research Centre (LRC).

According to the report, Israeli officials in the Jerusalem municipality have intentionally made legal Palestinian construction almost impossible.

For example, only 12 per cent of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem can be used for urban development, of which just seven per cent is zoned for residential housing.

There are currently an estimated 20,000 housing units build without permits in East Jerusalem.

The LRC report also takes a historical perspective, noting how Israeli forces demolished 39 villages around Jerusalem in 1948, displacing about 198,000 Palestinian residents.

Subsequently, some 16,000 Jews were housed in homes and dwellings whose Palestinian owners were expelled between September 1948 and August 1949.

In 1967, meanwhile, around 70,000 Jerusalemites were displaced, including those outside the city at the time and prevented from returning.

The report also states that Israel demolished 1,706 homes between 2000 and 2017, displacing 9,422 Palestinians, including 5,443 children.

 

THE STRUCTURE OF ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE:

  1. The Overall Structure of Israeli Intelligence Services:

With the exception of Mossad and Shin Beth, the overall structure of Israeli intelligence services can be understood as a confederation. The Israeli case displays a confederation structure at a tertiary level. In the sense that the MI is accountable to the director of military intelligence, who reports to the chief of staff, who in turn is responsible to the Minister of Defense. This bureaucratic chain of command is peculiar in a Confederation-type intelligence organization as in the case of UK. Similarly the Research and Political Handling Center through its own director is accountable to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs whereas the Special Division links up to the IG of National Police through the investigation department. And the IG, through the Ministry of Interior reports to the Prime Minister.

It is interesting to note that the Advisers on Intelligence and Anti-terrorism on one hand and the Advisers on Political and Military Matters on the other hand are directly linked with the Prime Minister, with each other and also with the Director General of Foreign Ministry and the Director of MI :

OVERALL STRUCTURE OF THE ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

(Source: Foreign Intelligence Organizations, Richelson.)

Adviser on Intelligence        PRIME MINISTER      Advisers on Political Matters

Adviser on Anti-Terrorism              Adviser on Military   Matters

Minister of Foreign Affairs    Minister of  Interior   Minister of Defence

Director General                  Chief of Staff

Inspector General of National Police          Director of Mossad (Chairman of VaÕadat) MI   Dir of MI

Chief Research & Political Handling Center

Investigation Department    MOSSAD

Special Division

The organization of Mossad and Shin Beth is a centralized one with no intermediate layer of accountability between the Directors of Mossad, Shin Beth and the Prime Minister.

The Internal Structure of Mossad: The Mossad is based in Tel Aviv with recently estimated number of about 1,200 personnel and until lately, the identity of the Mossad director was a state secret . Mossad has a total of eight departments. The director oversees, the Research, Technology and Technical Operations Departments. The director also chaperons Operation Planning and Coordination, Manpower Finance Logistics and Security, Training, Collection and Political Action, and Liaison. The latter two conduct single or multiple stations in Central America, South America, Eastern Europe/USSR, Africa, Asia and Ocean, Mediterranean and the Middle East, Europe and North America. Under the Political Action and Liaison Department is known to exist the Special Operations Division which runs highly sensitive covert operations

INTERNAL ORGANIZATION OF MOSSAD

Organization of the Mossad

Director

Research        Technology    Technical Operations

Dir. Collection           Director Political Action & Liaison Cent. America         Director Training       Director Manpower, Finance Logistics & Security   Director Operational Planning & Coordination

South America Special Operations Divisions

Eastern Europe/ USSR

Africa

Asia & Oceana

Mediterranean & the Near East

Europe

North America

Intelligence is direction of Field Security Units, Territorial Command Combat Intelligence, Air Force Intelligence and Naval Intelligence .

Lastly, the General Security Service of Israel is known as Shin Beth, which is primarily responsible for counter-espionage and internal security. Shin Beth is organized into eight operational and functional departments: Arab Affairs, Non-Arab Affairs, Protective Security, Operational Support, Technology, Interrogation and Legal Counsel, Coordination and Planning, and Administration . The first three constitute the operational division and the rest, Support Divisions. Although there is a deputy director’s office, all of the other departments are also directly responsible to the director.

Coordination of the Israeli Management Structure: The pivotal faculty of Intelligence Community in Israel is known as the Va’adat Rashei Hasherutim or simply Va’adat. The Va’adat consists of the directors of Mossad, AMAN, Shin Beth and IG Police.

It also includes the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Director of the Research and Political Planning Center and the anti-terrorist advisers of the Prime Minister, political and military both. All the members of Va’adat are supposedly at parity, however, in terms of importance and power, the director of AMAN is known to eclipse the director of Mossad 1.

FUNCTIONS OF THE ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES

  1. Functions of Mossad: Mossad’s essential functions are: human intelligence collection, covert action and counter terrorism. Its primary focus is to do clandestine operations against the Arab countries as well as against other organizations throughout the world . The Mossad collects information on the leadership, disposition, morale and armaments of the Arab Military forces . Mossad monitors the Arab commercial activity in relation to weapons acquisition and attempts to sabotage the Arab statesÕ recruitment of military, economic and political experts .

Although exact functional detail remains somewhat abstruse, the largest of the departments with responsibility for most espionage operations is the Department of Collections. The Political Action and Liaison Department is responsible for liaison with friendly states, as well as those states that do not have any diplomatic ties with Israel22. Israeli liaison and manoeuvring between friendly and non-friendly states is amazingly professional.

It exchanges intelligence information not only with countries like the US with whom it has formal ties, but also with states as diverse as Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and India. It provided Pakistan some information on India that was obtained by the Israeli agent in the US, Jonathan Jay Pollard, in return for some strategic information about some other countries. At the same time Israel exchanged information with India about the Pakistan’s endeavours to construct the atom bomb .

The Special Operations Division or Metsada conducts highly sensitive assassinations, engages in sabotage, paramilitary operations and psychological warfare projects . Among the least violent functions of Mossad is its liaison, propaganda and training . About 10 Israeli agents trained nearly one hundred Sri Lankans in intelligence tactics in order to combat the Tamil Separatists in Northern Sri Lanka . Among the more violent functions of Mossad are kidnapping and assassinations. Colonel Mustapha Hafez, an Egyptian intelligence officer was killed by Mossad as he was considered a key element in the organization of the Palestinians 27. In 1972, in Munich, Germany the Black September faction of PLO kidnapped and subsequently killed ten Israeli athletes in an attempt to recover two hundred Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. This started the most extensive set of assassinations undertaken by the Mossad. The Mossad set up a special unit called the Wrath of God to carry out this operation which it successfully completed by eliminating its targets one by one .

Lohamah Psichologit or the LAP Department of Mossad operates for its psychological warfare, propaganda and deception operations. The Research Department produces the intelligence in form of daily reports, situation reports, weekly summaries and detailed monthly reports from its different geographical desks .

One of the very important functions of Mossad besides gathering intelligence is the acquisition of military hardware, the assessment of enemy equipment and the enhancement of Israeli capabilities. One of Mossad’s most successful acquisitions was the theft of highly enriched Uranium from an American company, Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp., located in Apollo, Pennsylvania . This took place in 1965. The president of the company stated that 386.1 pounds of Uranium, enough for at least ten atom bombs, was simply lost ! However, the experts believed that it was transferred to Israel.

  1. Functions of Shin Beth: The Arab Affairs Department conducts anti-terrorist operations, maintenance of an index on Arab terrorists and it also performs political subversion. Whereas the non-Arab department, which is divided into Communist and non-Communist sub-sections, is responsible for the functions of penetration of foreign intelligence organizations, diplomatic missions in Israel and interrogation of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe . The Protective Security Branch of Shin Beth functions as the guardian of all the state buildings, embassies, defense related industries, scientific installations, industrial plants and the national airline .

All foreigners are regarded with suspicion by the Shin Beth, regardless of nationality and religion. Informants are recruited from professions of hospitality industry, educational institutions and trade unions with occupations such as bartenders, telephone operators, secretaries, prostitutes and taxi drivers .

  1. The Functions of AMAN: The Military Intelligence of Israel produces comprehensive national intelligence estimates for the prime minister and cabinet, which includes communications intercepts, target studies on the contact Arab states in propinquity, and intelligence on the risk of war . AMAN’s Foreign Relations Department maintains liaison with the foreign intelligence organizations, engages in deep reconnaissance and conducts cross-border operations .
  2. Air Force Intelligence and the Naval Intelligence: The Air Force Intelligence performs the function of data collection by the means of aerial reconnaissance and signals intelligence using a variety of intelligence equipment which also includes the use of RPVs (remotely piloted vehicles), which are recoverable and recyclable after first use 36. These devices are excellent for photographic information which can be directly transmitted to the commander’s headquarters who can make immediate decisions regarding troop deployment without sending out the ground reconnaissance .

The Naval intelligence is a small service which provides AMAN on a consultative basis, assessments of the sea-based threats to Israel. Its targeting department is also responsible for coastal studies, naval gunfire missions and beach studies for amphibious assaults .

 

Transcription of telephone conversation on August 3, 2006

from

Israeli Embassy, Washington D.C. Telephone Number (202) 364-5582.

to

unidentified individual at AIPAC, Washington D.C., Telephone Number (202) 639-5201

 

Commenced 1821 hrs, concluded 1826 hrs.

 

Speaker A Reuven Azar – Counselor for Political Affairs, Embassy of Israel

Speaker B Unidentified individual located at AIPAC headquarters

  1. Well, things are going as well as expected, better perhaps than expected. There is military progress there (Lebanon) and we have wonderful cooperation here.
  2. For sure, but don’t forget the dangers in having too much cooperation. All right for this moment but in the long run, this can certainly backfire on us. You know, we are seen as being too much influential with the Bush people.
  3. I wouldn’t worry too much about that. The media is certainly not to worry about and most Americans really do not care about things there (Lebanon) The main point is that by the time the U.S. makes itself felt at the UN, we will have accomplished our goals and established the buffer we need.
  4. Absolutely but…there is still the future to think about.
  5. Who cares? Once we establish the buffer, the rest is just shit. It will all be hidden soon in the coming press reports of Arab ‘attacks’ on the U.S. This is for the voting in November. You know, ‘many Arab groups will for sure attack American targets.’ They (the U.S. Government) will choose so-called target areas where they need the most support. We don’t need to worry about Miami, Skokie or Beverly Hills after all. (Laughter) and this is a little crude but the public here is terribly stupid and the warning color days worked before, didn’t they?
  6. Yes, but there are second thoughts on all of that. If you go to the well too often, there are problems. People lose interest.
  7. The British are being such swine about this, aren’t they? They are causing trouble about the bombs these days.
  8. Just a few troublemakers. The press here does not cover that and who reads the foreign media? Most Americans can’t read anyway. But there is danger that the U.N. might be motivated to move a peace keeping force into Lebanon and this might negate our purposes. Hesbollah must be utterly wiped out and Syria must be made to realize…with force if necessary…that it cannot supply the terrorists with more Iranian rockets. Maybe an accidental airstrike on Syrian military units could say to them to mind their own business. We have done this before.
  9. It is too bad that we cannot teach Tehran a lesson. The ultimate goal would be to have America attack Iran but I am afraid the American military is dead set against this…
  10. They are all Jew-haters up there.
  11. For sure but we know that Americans can bomb the shit out of Tehran and hopefully kill off a number of the militants, probably disrupt their atomic program and teach all of the area that the U.S. means business. We support them, they support us. But they cannot send in ground troops and if we did that, our losses would not be borne at home. As it is, there are the usual malcontents bleating about the Lebanon business.
  12. They are just afraid they will get a rocket on their house and there are the same ones here. The Lieberman business is not that good, after all. Yes, of course he is a liberal Democrat but his support of us is too obvious. He could be a little critical too. We see the Bush people doing this, just to keep the people quiet. Yes, they say, see, we too are actually critical of Israel….
  13. But not too critical, right?
  14. No, never that. Too many pictures of dead jerks for example. We need to see more pictures of grieving Israelis, mourning lost sons and children. Can’t we get more of those? Fuck the Arabs.
  15. I feel sorry for the American media. Their instincts are to defend dead Arab children…
  16. But nits make lice, don’t they? Who mourns dead Israeli children?
  17. I’m sure there would be more on this but not enough children are dead.
  18. Not yet, anyway. But if they rocket Tel Aviv…
  19. Well, then, for sure.
  20. We should have pictures all ready if that happens. Do you think it will?
  21. Tehran directs that part of the business. We don’t have as much inside gen on them there…
  22. The fucking Russians are on their side.
  23. We have always had trouble with those Slavic pricks. First weapons…
  24. The Chinese assholes also do this, don’t forget.
  25. No one around here will forget that, be assured. The time will come when we get them too. Say we cut off their oil from the Gulf? What then? They will dance to our tunes then, not Tehran’s.
  26. If we had oil…
  27. But we do not. The filthy Putin has the oil. They should get rid of him while they are at it. Our people almost had it but he forced them out.
  28. They can always come back. The people here would really support this. We put our people back in after we get rid of Putin and then a guaranteed flow of oil to America.
  29. And Russia is off the chessboard too.
  30. They all want that badly here, too. Cheney is the strongest supporter of cutting the nuts off of Russia. The military here are against fishing in troubled waters.
  31. They can’t be replaced, Bush can’t sack them all.
  32. Set an example. Sack a few more of the assholes and the rest will shut up. They always do. So, send me your latest list and I’ll see what I can do here.

A .Send someone to pick it up. The mail here is awful. It will take a week if some black doesn’t  steal    it, throw it away or wipe his ass with it.

  1. Tomorrow for sure.
  2. OK. And one other matter. We feel very strongly that if the current people get kicked out in November, as it looks like they might, we owe them to help them stay right where they are. It has taken a long time and much money to get all the ducks lined up and we don’t want to have to start in again. We can generally rely on sympathy from the Democrats but they will not support any more military ventures over there. That’s for sure.
  3. Then what do you suggest?
  4. The terrorism card works wonders. We were going to release a statement that Arabs were going to attack an El Al plane on takeoff, with rockets….
  5. Probably leftovers from the CIA businesses in Afghanistan.
  6. Let’s not get into that now. But this scare would only affect flights to Israel and we don’t think it would have any impact on the election.
  7. Well then, why not have these attacks aimed at American aircraft? Where would they attack from?
  8. Say at the perimeter fence lines at airports. Or better still, why not a plan cooked up to smuggle explosives on board transatlantic flights to or from America? Something clever that will catch the public imagination….
  9. That stupid bomb in the shoe routine?
  10. Don’t knock it. It worked, didn’t it? We can always find some suckers with a bent to this we can fill up with real enthusiasm and then turn them in, complete with plans. They actually believe they are going to paradise and fuck virgins and we have another propaganda coup. Let’s give this some effort. You know, a terrified public will not want to change horses in mid stream. So far, the Rove people have a good line: If you’re against the Republicans, you’re encouraging the evil terrorists sthick.
  11. Well, they did that with the alert warnings and it worked…more or less.
  12. Face it, they aren’t too bright here. They ran it into the ground, had to fire Ridge and Ashcroft, one of our very best friends ever, and put those things on ice. They need to discover a huge plot but in America. You know, as you said, infiltrate a group of crazies, plant things on them, call the FBI…
  13. Oh, they do that themselves. That business in Florida was pathetic…
  14. But it worked, didn’t it?
  15. For about ten minutes at six o’clock for about three days.
  16. Well, think about it and get back to me.
  17. Right.
  18. What’s the situation with your two people? Are they going to be tried or not?
  19. Probably not, as far as the Bush people are concerned. But it is up to the courts and we are very careful not to fuck with them. They are expected to have the charges thrown out soon…
  20. Well, I’ll pray for them. I have to go now so I’ll get back to you later. Don’t forget to send someone for the list
  21. OK.

(Conversation terminated)

 

 

Sweden faces political impasse after inconclusive election

PM refuses calls to resign while second-placed Moderates rebuff overtures from far right                                              

September 10, 2018

by Jon Henley in Stockholm

The Guardian

The leaders of Sweden’s main left and rightwing parliamentary blocs have staked claims to form the next government, heralding weeks or months of fraught negotiations after an election that left them almost tied and far short of a majority amid gains by both the far right and smaller parties.

The incumbent prime minister, Stefan Löfven, whose Social Democrats remained the largest party with 28.4% of the vote, its lowest score for a century, refused opposition calls to resign and said he would take two weeks before the next parliamentary vote to try to build a cross-bloc coalition that would avoid the growing influence of the populist, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats.

The election marked “the end of bloc politics in Sweden”, Löfven told supporters. “There is no side with a majority. So it is only natural to work across the political divide to make it possible to govern.” He said a party “with Nazi roots” had nothing to offer the country but division and hatred. “We have a moral responsibility.”

Löfven’s three-party centre-left bloc looks on course to win 144 of the 349 seats in the Riksdag, just one seat more than the centre-right – although that could yet change with 200,000 overseas votes still to be counted.

The four-party centre-right alliance of the Moderate, Christian Democrat, Liberal and Centre parties called on the prime minister to step down. “This government has had its chance. It has to resign,” said the Moderate party leader, Ulf Kristersson. He said he wanted to build a government that would “unite our country and take responsibility”.

Long shunned by the other parties for their white supremacist roots, the Sweden Democrats, who framed the election as a straight choice between ending immigration and preserving Sweden’s welfare state, finished third behind the Moderates with 17.6% of the vote, a solid advance on the 12.9% they won in 2014 but far from the 25-30% they had hoped for and polls had predicted.

“We have strengthened our role as kingmakers. We are going to gain real influence over Swedish politics,” declared the Sweden Democrat leader, Jimmie Åkesson, who has said he wants to cooperate with other parties, particularly the Moderates, but will demand curbs on immigration in exchange for his party’s backing.

Other party officials echoed his call. “When the same party time and again increases, and the other parties stand still, then you have to listen to that part of the population that is voting for this party,” said the Sweden Democrats’ parliamentary leader, Mattias Karlsson. “It’s time to talk.”

Kristersson rebuffed the far-right party’s overtures, telling supporters: “We have been completely clear during the whole election. The alliance will not govern or discuss how to form a government with the Sweden Democrats.”

If Kristersson sticks to his word, which many observers doubt, the other options open to both the centre-right and centre-left look no easier. “However the dramatic bloc battle plays out, it looks like it will be difficult for Sweden to have a functioning government,” the Dagens Nyheter daily said in its editorial.

Svenska Dagbladet said “a lot of imagination” would be needed, while the popular tabloid Expressen summed up the situation in one word: “Chaos.”

On the left, which has consistently and forcefully rejected any form of cooperation with the Sweden Democrats, any attempt by Löfven to build the same administration he formed last time – a coalition with the Greens, with parliamentary backing from the Left party – would risk falling to Sweden Democrat opposition at the first hurdle.

He will therefore try to enlist the backing of two smaller parties on the centre-right, the Centre and Liberal parties. This will not be straightforward, not least because they disagree strongly with the ex-communist Left, particularly on Europe and economic policy.

“If the red-green bloc is bigger, the Centre and the Liberals hold the key and not Jimmie Åkesson,” Mikael Gilliam, a political scientist at Gothenburg University, told Swedish public radio.

The situation on the right is no less complicated. The Moderate-led alliance that ruled in coalition from 2006 to 2014 would need the informal support of the Sweden Democrats to be assured of a parliamentary majority – something the Centre and Liberal parties are vehemently opposed to, although some Moderates and Christian Democrats could accept.

Despite decades of animosity between the two, the Moderates and Social Democrats may explore some form of broad-based cross-bloc cooperation. Analysts suggest this might not be entirely impossible: over the four-year term of the outgoing government, the two parties agreed 26 pieces of legislation, notably on immigration, energy and the climate.

“Expect lengthy and messy negotiations, as well as a sharpening of rhetoric: there is a risk that a government is not formed by the end of 2018,” said Ana Luís Andrade, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit. She said she saw a minority Moderate-led government with ad hoc Sweden Democrat support as the most likely outcome.

 

US threatens to arrest ICC judges over war crimes probe

Washington will sanction and prosecute ICC judges who open an investigation into US war crimes in Afghanistan, said a top official. In November, the ICC chief prosecutor requested a probe into criminal action by the US.

September 10, 2018

DW

US National Security Adviser John Bolton on Monday threatened to sanction and prosecute International Criminal Court (ICC) judges if the tribunal attempts to charge US service members and intelligence agents with war crimes.

“The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court,” Bolton said in a speech delivered to the conservative Federalist Society in Washington.

“We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”

Ban, sanction, prosecute

In November, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said there was a “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan” since the US-led invasion in 2001.

Bensouda said a “meticulous preliminary examination” had led her to “the conclusion that all legal criteria to commence an investigation have been met.”

But Bolton said that if ICC prosecutors attempted to do so, the US would target the international court’s judges.

“We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans,” he said.

International justice

The ICC is an international tribunal tasked with bringing to justice perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. More than 120 countries are signatories to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, including Germany.

While the US had initially been a signatory, it later withdrew its support for the institution. Although former US President Barack Obama at times cooperated with the ICC, his predecessor, George W. Bush, and his successor, Donald Trump, remained critical of the body.

 

Politically incorrect bumperstickers

September 10, 2018

by Aaron L. Johnson

1.Jesus loves you… but everyone else thinks you are an asshole.

  1. Impotence… Nature’s way of saying “No hard feelings”
  2. The proctologist called… they found your head.
  3. Everyone has a photographic memory…some just don’t have any film.
  4. Save your breath…You’ll need it to blow up your date.
  5. Some people are only alive because it is illegal to shoot them.
  6. I used to have a handle on life… but now it is broken.
  7. WANTED: Meaningful overnight relationship.
  8. Hang up and drive.
  9. If you can read this… I can slam on my brakes and sue you.
  10. Heart Attacks… God’s revenge for eating His animal friends.
  11. Your ridiculous little opinion has been noted.
  12. Try not to let your mind wander… It is too small to be out by itself.
  13. Some people don’t know how to drive. I call these people “Everybody But Me”
  14. Don’t like my driving… Then quit watching me.
  15. Guys… just because you have one… doesn’t mean you have to be one.
  16. Welcome to America… NOW speak English.
  17. Hire the Handicapped: They’re fun to watch!
  18. Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
  19. Asians don’t drive cars, they aim them.
  20. Support Trump…over a fire.
  21. Some people aim to please but the USAF always aims at hospitals.
  22. The poor we always have with us but not on San Francisco’s streets.
  23. Trump for Queen.
  24. Trump’s Space Program: Circle Uranus looking for Kingons.

 

 

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